A Victorian Christmas: A Visit with St. Nicholas, 5-7 pm Fri. & Sat., Dec 13th & 14th   

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington is hosting a new event for the holidays this year – “A Victorian Christmas” with a live Victorian-era St. Nicholas on hand to greet families – from 5-7 pm on Friday and Saturday, December 13th and 14th.  For this special event, adult admission will be $10 at the front door of the Mansion (cash or check) and children will be admitted free.

This is a fun, festive photo opportunity for children and adults alike. Bring your own cameras or smartphones and take your own pics with St. Nicholas in the Davis family’s beautifully decorated parlor. Families can also tour the rest of the Mansion.

Open Ice Skate at The Pepsi Ice Center

For a fun way to get some exercise head to the Pepsi Ice Center for open skate. Skate rentals are available on-site for $2 per person.

Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is showcasing the Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice Concert. Celebrate the winter solstice and its warm traditions with a concert of original and traditional acoustic music drawn from the multi-platinum selling Winter Solstice series as well as their many solo releases.

Windham Hill founder and Grammy-winning guitarist, Will Ackerman, and Grammy Award-nominated singer, fiddler, pianist, and songwriter Barbara Higbie, guitarist Todd Boston and cellist, Mia Pixley come together to lead joyous holiday concerts. Friday, December 13, 2019 at 7:30 PM, Tickets: $35/ $25/ Student $10.

Holiday Pops in the Heartland

Celebrate the holidays with festive music and holiday songs. Holiday Pops in the Heartland is a community affair. The ISO will perform with the Bloomington-Normal Youth Symphony and Twin Cities Ballet.

This is a great event for the entire family—both young and old! It is held on December 20, 2019, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Family-friendly pre-concert activities start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $63 / $42 / $21.  Students are $6 (Age 6-26, with ID).

Santa’s Station

Santa’s Station is located in the heart of Uptown in between Uptown Station and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Santa opens his station on Saturday, December 7, 2019, and you can visit him right up until December 23, when he departs to take care of some important business. A visit to Santa’s Station is free, but donations are encouraged.

Normal Parks and Recreation has reached an agreement with Santa Claus’s North Pole Headquarters to arrange a phone call from Santa Claus for local children ages 2-12. Parents that would like their children to receive a phone call from Santa must register by calling the Parks and Recreation Department, at (309) 454-9540. Make sure to register early!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Cost: Free


DECEMBER 13TH 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Drop your kids off and finish your Christmas shopping, and the kids will make 2 presents to bring home. A pizza dinner, crafts, games, and activities will be provided. Kids between 4-12 years old and must be potty trained. $25 for the first child, $20 for additional siblings. Zoo members $20 for the first child and $16 each additional child. Maximum of 35 children so e-mail anelson@cityblm.org to register.


Friday, December 13, 2019
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Cost: Non-Zoo Members: $25 for the first child and $20 for additional siblings | Zoo Members: $20 for the first child and $16 for additional siblings


Miller Park Zoo 1020 South Morris  Bloomington IL   (309) 434-2250

Murder Mystery Dinner- Silence of the Elves

Buddy goes Ballistic in this UPstage production comedy mystery! Who knew Elfin goodness could take such a turn for the worse, especially at Xmas!?!

Arrival suggested between 5:30-6:30 pm for seating, wine tasting and “mingling” with the cast, this is your chance to let them know if you want to participate in the show. The drama will start at approximately 6:30 pm.

There are three complimentary wine samples per guest at the tasting bar and wine can be purchased by the bottle or glass, beer and sodas also available. Dinner is served buffet style after the first act and dessert is served tableside. The performance will be held in the tasting room in the main building, center entrance from the main parking lot.

Tickets on sale, call 309-359-9463 to reserve or email, mackinawwinery03@gmail.com for questions. Admission is $47+tax per person for dinner, dessert, and the show, reservations required. Fun Costumes are welcome!!

Dinner and Dessert served by The Catering Company

**Gluten-free and Vegetarian Options available by one-week advance request**

**SPECIAL OFFER HOTEL and SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE-The Holiday inn Express & Suites in Morton will provide hotel shuttle service to and from the “Murder Mystery Dinner for hotel guests. Be Sure to Mention the MURDER MYSTERY WHEN BOOKING. Located just a short drive to the vineyard the hotel is four years old and offers a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, coffee 24/7, free WIFI, indoor pool & hot tub, fitness center and friendly and welcoming staff. So call 309-263-4400 today to book your room for a relaxing and fun getaway full of merriment and Murderous Comedy. ASK FOR the SPECIAL Winery Murder Mystery rate with shuttle ride for a standard king or double queen


Friday, December 13, 2019
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Cost: $47 plus Tax


Mackinaw Valley Vineyard & Winery 33633 State Route 9 Mackinaw  IL 61755  3093599463

Breakfast With Santa at The Zoo


Enjoy breakfast with Santa at the Zoo.
$9 for members, and $14 for non-members.
Two breakfasts, 8:30 am and 10:00 am.
Sign-up at www.bloomingtonparks.org


Saturday, December 14, 2019
8:30 am – 11:00 am



Miller Park Zoo 1020 South Morris  Bloomington IL   (309) 434-2260

A Beauties and the Beat Christmas Carol

Enjoy a variety of Christmas Carols in the historic and beautiful Ewing Manor. Enjoy free cookies, hot chocolate, and the stunning decorations!

Space is limited so get there early if you want a seat!

This concert is free but free-will donations are appreciated!

All monies go to supporting Beauties and the Beat!


Sunday, December 15, 2019
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Cost: Free


Ewing Cultural Center 48 Sunset Road Bloomington IL 61701  309 838 9011

Santa Station – Save Holiday Cheer

Santa Station Escape Room Open December 4, 2019 – January 31, 2020!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, but something was wrong!
No Christmas cheer here, not a wink or a song!
No tinsel was hung, no tree decorated,
Old Santa, it seems, was a little frustrated…

The Santa Station Challenge is 30-minute adventure tasking you with saving the holidays. Completing a series of puzzles and challenges, you will be racing against the clock to restore holiday cheer before time runs out. Can you help Santa save the holidays?


Monday, December 16, 2019
All Day

Cost: $100 (includes up to 5 participants)


SMARTpath & Escape Bloomington 4 Yount Drive, STE 4 Bloomington IL 61704  309.585.1559

Cozy Place to Stay

Looking for a cozy place to stay while enjoying the holiday events and festivities around Bloomington-Normal? The Vrooman Mansion is the perfect destination for wedding nights, honeymoons, babymoons or any romantic getaway!

The B&B features en-suite rooms within the mansion or guests can choose to stay in the Carriage House just a few steps away from the main house. Inspired to visit this lovely piece of history in Bloomington, Illinois? Visit the Vrooman Mansion website to learn more.

Budget Travel Tip: The Vrooman Mansion offers a great mid-week special. If you book 3 nights and one of the nights is a Tuesday, you get Tuesday night free!